I’d like to welcome to my blog today author Lorraine Reguly. I’m grateful to be able to return the favor that Lorraine showed me last year when she gave me my first ever author interview to promote my new ebook Memory’s Prisoner. It was a wonderful experience for me and now I have the chance to interview Lorraine.
Lorraine is an interesting person who happens to be a rape survivor, a former prostitute, and an English teacher-turned-freelancer. She’s also the author of Risky Issues, which is a short book of stories (both fiction and non-fiction) prefaced by a touching poem.
Today, I’m going to talk to Lorraine about what’s going on in her world, her book, and her extremely important message that Risky Issues sets forth. You’ll want to listen in on our conversation, from beginning to end, too. Trust me!
Why I Have to Rave About Lorraine’s Short Book (and why EVERYONE should read it too)
ME: Thanks for being here today, Lorraine!
Lorraine: It’s my pleasure, Jamie.
ME: First of all, I need you to clarify something for me. I thought you were writing a book about your life… your memoirs, to be exact. Then the next thing I know, out comes Risky Issues. What’s going on?
Lorraine: (laughing) I am writing a book about my life, including all the sordid, juicy details. I’m also putting together a book of letters I wrote my son… But I wanted to see how this whole self-publishing thing worked first. So I decided to type up a few of the stories I wrote long ago, update and edit them, and package them into an ebook I could sell on Amazon.
ME: So what did you learn from your process?
Lorraine: I actually learned a lot. The first thing I learned was that I needed some help! (laughing) I needed some feedback from others, so I selected some people to use as “beta readers” and then I also needed a cover designer to create a cover for my book.
ME: I like the cover. It’s bold and colourful.
Lorraine: I like it, too. I have to admit, the designer did a good job. But I have to take credit for the stick-guy. 😉
ME: He’s cute!
Lorraine: Yeah, he’s probably the only thing I can draw. My artistic talent lies elsewhere, like in my writing and editing skills.
ME: That’s right. You’re a freelancer, too, aren’t you?
Lorraine: Yes. I offer writing and editing services to anyone who needs them.
ME: What else did you learn?
Lorraine: I also found out that I needed some help with the formatting. And book promotion. And the list goes on and on…
ME: Okay, you learned a lot. Can we talk about your book for a bit? I read it and liked it. But I did find it kind of short…
Lorraine: Yes, it’s a short book of short stories. But the stories are short intentionally, as most teens and tweens don’t have really long attention spans. Truthfully, they’re the ones who are my true audience for this book. My upcoming books will be geared toward adults. 😉
ME: What made you select the stories you did, for Risky Issues?
Lorraine: The stories in Risky Issues touch upon several issues faced by many people: identity, drugs, abuse, death and friendship. I chose the stories found in Risky Issues because they’re not your typical conversational topics, but instead are about topics that are hard to talk about. It’s my hope that others will read the stories and be able to share their own experiences with others, especially their bad experiences. Those are the ones that are hardest to give a voice to.
ME: I agree. Basically, you’re hoping others will use your book as a stepping stone to solving their own problems.
Lorraine: Yes. And if they should happen to be entertained in the process, that’s great, too.
ME: Well, yeah, that’s one of the reasons people read – to be entertained!
Lorraine: (nodding) Yes, I know. But the thing is, some people like to read to escape. The only problem is that sometimes what they want to run from is impossible to. But by knowing that others have been in similar circumstances, the door to conversation is opened. Plus, issues such as identity, drugs, abuse, death and friendship are ones that are universal. Everyone can relate to them.
ME: I agree. I think that’s one of the reasons I loved your book so much. It’s only available as an ebook though, isn’t it?
Lorraine: Right now it is. I’m working on getting it in print. I’ve run into a few snags regarding taxation issues with CreateSpace, but I’m working to resolve them ASAP!
ME: Oh, that’s good. That you’re resolving them, I mean.
Lorraine: (laughing) I know that’s what you meant!
ME: I also think it’s great that you’re sharing what you’ve learned with the rest of the world. I know many readers are aspiring writers, and have tons of stories they’d like to tell.
Lorraine: Thanks. If it’s one thing I’ve learned on my writing journey, it’s to give back to the community. I guess that’s just the teacher in me coming out, too. I enjoy helping others, and I’m the type of person who’s not full of BS. (I don’t normally curse, so please forgive me!) In my two blogs, I offer differ types of information. Your readers, depending on their interests, might want to follow one or both of my blogs. Wording Well offers tips on freelancing, blogging, and writing, and Laying It Out There offers tips on self-publishing and personal posts. Of course, some of my older posts on Wording Well offer true stories, too, since I only recently made the decision to make Wording Well niche-specific. I also give away a free ebook on Wording Well.
ME: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
Lorraine: I’m always honest. Always. And I always respond to everyone who interacts with me on social media. I’m very easy to get ahold of, and love hearing from others, even if it’s a just quick, “Hello.”
ME: That’s good to hear.
Lorraine: Yeah, I think engaging with others is really important. Talking is something I love to do, but I wasn’t always that way. I kept a lot of things inside. Especially after I was raped. I think that’s why I find it so important to talk about things openly now. Going through hell isn’t fun, for anyone. That’s one of the reasons I put together Risky Issues – so people can take their conversations and awareness to the next level.
ME: So Risky Issues is available on Amazon?
Lorraine: Yes, it’s available on both Amazon and on Google Play.
ME: Do you have a book blurb for Risky Issues?
Lorraine: Yes, basically the same thing can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, in other blog posts, etc. Here it is:
The stories in Risky Issues bring to light many issues faced by children, teenagers, and even adults.
The first story, The Secrets of the Study, is about a girl who enters her father’s study to get some blank printer paper but instead finds papers that reveal she is adopted. To compound things, her father catches her…
The second story, Pamela in the Park, is about a teenage girl who is out past curfew and is supposed to meet a temperamental drug dealer in the park to give him back some drugs she was holding for him. He doesn’t show up, but a policeman does…
The third story, The Day Adam Saw Red, is about sexual abuse. Adam, a victim, gives a speech to his class about this topic, and then goes outside to sit under an oak tree to ponder his dire situation, as his speech was a masked cry for help. He is befriended by the school custodian, who is thought to be “creepy,” but who takes the time to speak to him to help solve his problem…
In the final story, My Best Friend, a young girl finds out that her Grandma’s dog died. She thinks of Snoopy as her own, and is devastated…
ME: Thanks, Lorraine, for having the courage to speak up about your issues, and for sharing your book with me.
Lorraine: (blushing) Aw. You’re welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed my book!
ME: I did. And I think it’s a book everyone should read.
Lorraine: Thank you, Jamie. (blushes some more) And thanks for having me on your blog!
ME: It’s my pleasure. I think your message is important and so I wanted to help pass it on.
Lorraine: I hope your readers will buy my book for the children in their lives – whether for their own kids, or nieces and nephews, or neighbours, or babysitters – whoever. Risky Issues just might change the life of one of them for the better.
ME: I hope so, too. Anything else you’d like to say?
Lorraine: Yes! And they all have to do with my social media accounts! Ready?
- Like my Facebook author page
- Follow me on Twitter
- Follow some of my Pinterest boards
- Connect with me on LinkedIn
- Get connected via my author page on Google+
- Become a fan on Goodreads
and don’t forget to write a review! 🙂